What is Solana? A scalable and decentralized network for Dapps

What is Solana?  A scalable and decentralized network for Dapps

In short

  • Solana is a blockchain designed to support large-scale decentralized applications (dapps).
  • It claims a peak throughput of over 50,000 TPS and block times as low as 400ms.

Decentralized applications, or dappsare widely regarded as one of the key use cases for block chain Technology.

Over the past few years, dapps have made leaps and bounds, with dapp developers launching everything from games to decentralized finance (Challenge) platforms on blockchain and a concomitant explosion of user interest.

But there is a problem. The vast majority of these dapps work on Ethereumwhich struggled to keep up with rampant demand, leading to network congestion and soaring transaction fees.

Now Solana, a blockchain platform that debuted in 2017, aims to step into the breach and succeed where Ethereum currently struggles.

What is Solana?

Solana is an advanced open-source blockchain project that seeks to leverage several breakthrough technologies to power the next generation of dapps.

The project aims to provide a highly scalable, secure and maximally decentralized platform capable of supporting potentially thousands of nodes without sacrificing throughput, thereby avoiding some of the challenges faced by competing systems.

It was founded in 2017 during the ICO boom and has raised over $25 million in various private and public rounds. The platform moved to mainnet in March 2020, but is still running in beta.

How does Solana work?

One of Solana’s main distinguishing features is its Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus system, which is bolstered by something known as Tower Consensus. It is a variant of a system that allows distributed networks to achieve consensus despite attacks from malicious nodes, known as Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).

Solana’s implementation of PBFT enforces a global source of time across the blockchain via a second new protocol known as Proof of History (PoH). This essentially provides a chronicle of previous events on the blockchain, ensuring that there is a common record of what happened and when for permanent reference.

Tower Consensus leverages this synchronized clock to reduce the processing power needed to verify transactions, since timestamps of previous transactions no longer need to be calculated. This helps Solana achieve throughput that eclipses most competitors (more on that later).

Beyond that, Solana includes a number of other innovations that help it stand out from the competition. Among these is its transaction parallelization technology, known as Sealevel. This allows a parallel smart contracts which optimizes resources and ensures that Solana can scale horizontally across GPUs and SSDs, which should help the platform scale to meet demands.

Solana also completely negates the mempool system used by other platforms and instead pushes transactions to validators even before the previous batch of transactions are finalized. This maximizes confirmation speed and increases the number of transactions that can be processed concurrently and in parallel. This technology is known as โ€œGulf Streamโ€.

What’s so special about it?

When it comes to decentralized applications, speed matters. As evidenced by the bottlenecks currently facing the Ethereum network. Solana, however, does not currently suffer from these issues due to its high throughput architecture.

Solana claims that its blockchain is capable of supporting more than 50,000 transactions per second (TPS) at maximum load, which would make it arguably the fastest blockchain currently in operation. To put that into perspective, it’s nearly 1,000 times faster than Bitcoin (max throughput ~5-7 TPS) and over 3,000 times faster than Ethereum (max throughput ~15 TPS).

Additionally, Solana claims an average block time of 400 to 800 milliseconds and an average transaction fee of 0.000005 SOL (or a tiny fraction of a cent). This, combined with its massive scalability, makes it well-placed to serve decentralized applications that can potentially support tens of thousands of concurrent users without warping under load.

Solana achieves this scalability without resorting to second-layer or off-chain technologies and does not use any form of partitioning. This makes it one of the few layer-1 blockchains capable of reaching over 1,000 TPS.

Unlike some platforms, virtually anyone can get started and run with a Solana Validator and help secure the network. The process is completely permissionless, although users will need to maintain basic hardware to participate, namely a server that meets the minimum specifications outlined. here. In total, the network currently has nearly 1,000 validators, making it one of the most widely distributed blockchains.

Who builds on Solana?

Like many 2017-era contract-enabled smart platforms, Solana already has a well-developed and fast-paced system growing ecosystem of dapps, many of which fit perfectly into the DeFi niche. Some of Solana’s most popular dApps currently include:

  • โ›“ O3Swap: A cross-chain aggregation protocol compatible with Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, NEO and Huobi Eco liquidity sources.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Ground Starter: An upcoming IoT launchpad for projects building on Solana.
  • ๐Ÿ’ป Arweave: A decentralized data storage protocol that seeks to offer persistent and massively redundant file storage.
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ Oxygen: A DeFi prime brokerage protocol that allows users to extract value from their idle assets.

What is the SOL token?

Solana, like the vast majority of smart contract platforms, has its own native gas token, known as SOL. As a gas token, all transactions and smart contract operations on Solana will consume SOL.

The SOL token can also be staked to help support network security, allowing users to earn a portion of inflation as a reward. Although the feature is not currently available, SOL tokens will also be used for on-chain governance eventually.

The token was first launched on the Solana beta mainnet in March 2020 and is currently one of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

Where and how to buy SOL?

As one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, there is no shortage of exchanges that support SOL. According to CoinMarketCapover a dozen exchanges now offer SOL trading pairs, including heavyweights like Binance, Huobi Global, and Bitfinex.

Currently, Binance is by far the most popular exchange for SOL and offers four trading pairs: SOL/USDT, SOL/BTC, SOL/BUSD, and SOL/BNB.

Here we will see how to buy SOL on Binance using Tether (USDT).

Step 1: Create your Binance account and top up your balance with USDT.

2nd step: Head to the SOL/USDT spot market and access the control panel at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: Select the market tab and enter the amount of USDT you want to spend in SOL. Click on the ‘Buy SOL’ button to finalize the order

Step 4: That’s it! Your SOL will be processed at the best available price and will then be made available in your Binance account balance.

Solana: Where is he going?

Although Solana has been in development since 2017, it has only been running on its beta mainnet since March 2021 and there is no clear timeline for when this tag will be removed. However, unlike most beta platforms, Solana is already production ready and the beta tag is mostly for minor bugs or hiccups that may still be present.

As for the Solana sequel, the platform will host the Solana Season Hackathon between May 15 and June 7, 2021, where teams can compete to win up to $1 million in prizes.

Beyond that, five new crypto funds recently promised $20 million each to support the development of Solana-enabled projects in China, helping the platform expand its global reach.

This story has been updated to clarify the nature of Tower Consensus.

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